Texas added one third of all new jobs created in the entire country in the past 12 months
The Texas economic engine keeps on rolling, 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports.
Texas added 245,000 jobs from March 201 and March 2012, according to figures obtained by 1200 WOAI's Michael Board, more than twice the number of the second place state, and fully one third of all of the new jobs created nationwide.
Carlton Schwab, who heads the Texas Economic Development Council says the biggest reason for the state's continued economic strength is the resurgence of the oil and gas industry.
"That has really helped us mitigate some of the job losses that we have had, as the result of the national downturn," Schwab said.
Texas currently as 10,741,000 people engaged in full time employment, a record number. Job losses in the area along the border were more than offset by tech jobs and employment aided by the surge in energy prices, the report said. A number of major companies also announced job growth in Texas, incluidng AT&T, Apple, and Dell Computer.
Schwab says the high tech sector isn't the only one flourishing in Texas. He says the state's industrial base is surging, as Toyota goes to 100% production in San Antonio and Caterpillar fills out its new plant in Seguin.
"When a Caterpillar lands in Seguin, just think of all the more retail sales they're going to have, with people making, an average of $21 an hour," he said.
The San Antonio metro unemployment rate in March was 6.6%, one of the lowest metro jobless rates in the country. Houston, Austin, and Dallas Fort Worth also reported metro unemployment rates lower than the national average in March.
"Samsung expansion in Austin, a Caterpillar plant in Seguin, another Caterpillar facility in Victoria, and you can go on and on," Schwab said.
He cites the state's low taxes, including the lack of a personal income tax, tort reform laws passed ten years ago which cut down on the number of junk lawsuits, and a 'business friendly climate,' which includes less intrusive regulation, and widespread support for private employers which is lacking in many places as 'class war' rhetoric escalates.
Observers say Texas is in a good position to continue to gain as many jobs that were 'outsourced' over the last twenty years will be coming back to the United States, due to vastly higher transportation costs, rising standards of living in places like China and India, which reduce the cost advantage of having factories in those countries, changing tax laws which will encourage domestic rather than foreign employment, talk among leaders of both parties about cutting the U.S. business tax, which is now the highest in the world, and growing concerns over the stability of foreign governments in light of disturbing moves like the recent nationalization of many oil related industries in Argentina.